Do you reside in a mobile home? Or perhaps you’re planning on purchasing one? Mobile homes or manufactured homes offer a comfortable and affordable living option. However, mobile homes built before 1980 may contain asbestos, a dangerous material that can cause severe health problems.

While it was once celebrated for its versatility and heat resistance, asbestos now poses a silent threat to your safety and health. In this article, we will discuss asbestos in mobile homes, its hidden dangers, and what you need to do if you suspect its presence in your space.

Do Old Mobile Homes Have Asbestos?

Many older mobile homes, particularly those constructed before the 1980s, may contain asbestos. During this era, asbestos was a common building material prized for its fire-resistant and insulating properties. It was extensively used in various components of mobile homes, including insulation, flooring, ceiling tiles, and roofing materials.

Unfortunately, it was later discovered that asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can cause severe health issues. So, the EPA banned the use of asbestos in most building materials between 1978 and 1989. Therefore, mobile homes manufactured after 1978 are unlikely to contain asbestos.

Common places where you can find asbestos in older mobile homes include:

 

  • Wall and ceiling texture (including popcorn ceilings)
  • Floor tiles and linoleum
  • Vinyl flooring backing
  • Roof shingles and siding
  • Pipe insulation
  • Heater and air conditioner components
  • Caulking and Sealants

The Hidden Dangers of Asbestos

Asbestos itself is not dangerous if left undisturbed. The risk arises when the asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) become damaged. This can happen during renovations, repairs, or even everyday wear and tear.

When ACMs deteriorate, they release microscopic asbestos fibers into the air. These fibers are invisible to the naked eye and can be easily inhaled, lodging deep within the lungs. Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to various health problems, including:

Respiratory Diseases

Inhaling asbestos fibers can cause serious respiratory conditions such as asbestosis, a chronic lung disease characterized by inflammation and scarring of lung tissue. It can cause progressive shortness of breath and respiratory failure.

Lung Cancer

Exposure to asbestos heightens the likelihood of developing lung cancer. The risk is particularly high if you also smoke tobacco.

Mesothelioma

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. In most cases, mesothelioma does not manifest symptoms until decades after exposure.

Other Cancers

In addition to lung cancer and mesothelioma, asbestos exposure has been linked to cancers of the larynx, ovaries, and other organs.

How Do You Know You Have Asbestos in Your Mobile Home?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell for sure if your mobile home contains asbestos simply by looking at it. However, certain clues can point towards asbestos in your home:

  • Age of the mobile home: If your mobile home was constructed before the 1980s, there is a higher likelihood of asbestos-containing materials.
  • Visual inspection: Certain building materials like insulation, floor tiles, and roofing may contain asbestos. If these materials appear damaged or deteriorating, there’s a risk of asbestos exposure.

Ultimately, the only way to be certain is to have suspected materials tested by a qualified asbestos inspector. A professional has the expertise and equipment to safely identify asbestos-containing materials and assess the risk of exposure.

What to Do if You Suspect Asbestos in Your Mobile Home

If you suspect your mobile home contains asbestos, it’s essential to take appropriate steps to ensure your safety and that of your loved ones. Here is what you should do:

Avoid Disturbing Suspected Materials

Avoid disturbing any materials you suspect may contain asbestos. Asbestos fibers are most dangerous when they become airborne. So refrain from activities such as drilling, sanding, or scraping that could release fibers into the air.

Limit Access to the Area

If possible, restrict access to the area where you suspect asbestos-containing materials are present. This can help prevent accidental disturbance and minimize the risk of exposure.

Seek Professional Inspection and Testing

Contact a qualified asbestos abatement contractor or certified asbestos inspector to thoroughly inspect your mobile home. These professionals have the expertise and equipment to safely sample suspected materials and perform laboratory testing to confirm the presence of asbestos.

Seek professional help for removal

If the test results confirm asbestos, only hire certified asbestos abatement professionals for removal. They have the training and equipment to handle ACMs safely.

Do Not Attempt DIY Removal

Asbestos removal is a highly specialized and regulated process that should only be performed by trained professionals. Attempting to remove asbestos-containing materials yourself can pose serious health risks and may lead to improper handling and disposal.

FAQs About Asbestos in Mobile Homes

Are people living in mobile homes at risk for asbestos exposure?

Yes. If you reside in an older mobile home, you could be at risk of asbestos exposure. Asbestos was commonly used in various construction materials, including those found in mobile homes. Over time, these materials can degrade, releasing asbestos fibers into the air, which can pose serious health risks.

Can I remove asbestos from my home by myself, or do I need to get approval before removing asbestos from my home?

We recommend that you do not attempt to remove asbestos from your home yourself. Disturbing asbestos-containing materials can release harmful fibers into the air, increasing the risk of exposure to you and others in the vicinity. It’s best to hire a licensed asbestos abatement professional who is trained and equipped to safely handle asbestos removal.

Was asbestos ever used in mobile homes?

Yes, asbestos was commonly used in the construction of mobile homes, particularly those built before the 1980s. It was utilized in various components such as insulation, roofing materials, flooring tiles, and textured paints.

Bottom Line

Asbestos, once hailed as a wonderful material, serves as a silent threat lurking within many older mobile homes. It poses significant health risks to occupants, necessitating proactive measures to identify and mitigate its presence.

Understanding the signs of asbestos, seeking professional inspection, and adhering to safety protocols allows you to identify and address any potential risks effectively.

Funguy Inspections is a trusted ally in safeguarding your family’s health and well-being. Contact us today to get the peace of mind you deserve.